I’ve heard it said that we begin our politics on the left, and as we grow older, move towards the right.
In my usual manner, being a bit backward or occasionally upside down, I started off right wing and moved leftwards.
To explain what I mean about the backward/upside down thing, I have been known to hang wallpaper upside down (not all of it, just the odd panel) and the same with curtain material. I got married before dating, decided on my career at the age of sixty and discovered camping was for me at sixty-six, having hated it as a young woman. You get the picture.
My mum, on the other hand, did everything in the expected sequence and politically, started off right wing and has remained staunchly Conservative throughout her voting life. I suppose we shouldn’t argue with her at her ‘venerable’ age of ninety two, but her loud and vehement opinions, based upon her only source of news, the Daily Telegraph, make it hard to resist.
She is a kind woman, a loving and generous mother, but she has little tolerance for such leftist things as unions, strikes and demonstrations – especially those that inconvenience others. I see her point, but her assumption that everyone on the dole is shirking, and that holding up one nurse on the motorway is more of a sin than neglecting the future of mankind was, this weekend, too outrageous to tolerate.
Whizz and I argued our corner with confidence, comparing these demonstrators to the Suffragettes, countering each of my mum’s arguments with absolute logic, but in the end, we had to call a truce before things got too heated.
‘I’m not a bad person,’ my mum observed.
‘No’ I replied with a wink, ‘You’re not. You are at least slightly to the left of Hitler.’
She laughed, then looked thoughtful. ‘I don’t think I’ve ever killed anything… well, apart from wasps. Wasps are fair game.’
I disagreed but held my tongue, for a change.
My mum then remembered something. ‘I did once kill about ten shrews. The cat had caught them and was playing with them. Mother told me to put them out of their misery, so I hit them, one at a time, with a golf club.’
‘Erm,’ said Wizz, ‘how far did they go?’